It has been the warmest January-October on record and last month was the hottest October on record, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported Thursday.
And while you wouldn’t know it from the cold temperatures in large parts of this country, NOAA’s “State of the Climate: Global Analysis,” projects that 2014 is almost certainly going to be the hottest year on record worldwide — probably by far.
As the map shows, the oceans were especially warm. NOAA explains that ocean warming continues to blow records out of the water:
The global oceans were the warmest on record for October, with a temperature that averaged 0.62°C (1.12°F) higher than the 20th century average. This marks the sixth month in a row (beginning in May 2014) that the global ocean temperature broke its monthly temperature record.
As it has done for the last few months, NOAA plotted out several scenarios for the next two months, and they all show 2014 becoming the hottest year on record (click to enlarge, scenarios explained here):
A key point, as NOAA notes, is that of the record warm years depicted on that chart, “The years 2013 and 2014 are the only years on this list not to begin during a mature El Niño event.” It’s usually the combination of the long-term manmade warming trend and the regional El Niño warming pattern that leads to new global temperature records.
Having the hottest October, and hottest January-to-October, and probably the hottest year on record — even though we’re still waiting for the start of El Niño — reveals just how strong the underlying trend of human-caused warming is.